Peter J. Melcher

Peter J. Melcher

Professor, Department of Biology
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Honors Program

Specialty:Whole Plant Physiologist
Phone:(607) 274-3980
E-mail:pmelcher@ithaca.edu
Office:255 Ctr for Natural Sciences
Ithaca, NY 14850

Research Interests:

Specific questions being investigated in my lab:

Determining the impacts of introduced species in coastal plant communities in the Caribbean islands.  Currently in my lab we are investigating the invasiveness of Scaevola taccada in the habitat of the native species Scaevola plumieri on the islands of Culebra and Vieques, Puerto Rico.  This work uses standard eco physiological tools such gas exchange systems, meteorological equipment, and general ecological applications. The goal of this project is to learn how plants optimize resources when competing in the same niche. This is part of a collaborative project with Professor Susan Witherup and faculty at the University of Puerto Rico and US Fish and Wildlife Refuge on the island of Vieques, PR.

Plant Adaptations to Freezing and Drought: This project is aimed at understanding freezing and drought tolerance of grasses in the Pooidae to determine which genetic traits have changed in response to the climatic environmental changes that occurred during the last ice age. This is a collaborative project with Dr. Jill Preston at the University of Vermont.

Adaptations of Plants in Response to Drought Stress: My overarching questions are aimed at understanding basic physiological responses of plants when exposed to water stress and how plants recover from drought conditions when the continuous water columns in the xylem of plants break and form air blockages (embolism). Other investigations that are conducted in my lab and in collaboration with Professor Taryn Bauerle at Cornell University involve studies investigating stomatal responses in plants to changes in drought conditions.

If you interested in conducting research in my lab then please click below:

Fall and Spring Research            summer research 

If you need more information on the procedures to enroll for research credit then follow this link:  
Information on the procedures to conduct research.

Other Involvement:

Off Campus

 

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